Quote from carebear15
Congrats on finishing level 1!! How was it?? Level 1 classes, teachers, required books, entrance exams??? Just wondering. I would appreciate any little insight anyone can give about attending Riverside
Thanks In Advance
On the whole I think its one of the better programs in the area, you do get quite a bit of clinical time and since its a hospital affiliated program, we get first shot over other schools like MCI, TCC, TNCC at least as far as Riverside facilities go. I'm in the nights/weekends program so my perspective is a little bit different from any of the day students, but overall I think the experience is comparable. They revamped the curriculum a couple of years ago to give you more hands on experience in labs early on so that you could take advantage of clinical opportunities when they came up.
First semester is the easiest as far as classes go, you get a nursing priciples class, a fundamental skills class and lab, nutrition class and a medical terminology (mostly self study) class. You do a few sessions in the hospital, mostly beds and baths to get you used to the environment.
Second semester picks up the pace, a class in Patho, one in Pharm and one in Assessment along with another nutrition course and dimensional analysis (nurse math). Your clinicals are all focused around giving meds under supervision. A bit more time than the first term, but not all that much.
Third semester is where the pace starts to get faster. Mother-baby, Adult health and gerontology (sleeper). Just about every weekend is at the hospital, the time is split between mother-baby and adult health. In adult health you get one pt to tend to for the day, usually around 6+ hours. I'm in the last month or so of this term.
Next term is Adult health 2, Peds and another fundamental skills course. From what I understand, we go to caring for 2 pts at the same time. Ped clinicals are over at portsmouth naval hospital. 5th term is Adult health 3 and psych. 6th term is when you do your preceptorship and put it all together.
Instructors are all seasoned nurses, quite a few grandma's and a good percentage are nurse practitioners or advance clinical specialty nurses. They have had some turnover this last year, that is my understanding of why the E/W program went away, they didnt have the staff to teach it. Tuition has been steadily going up to the tune of a few hundred each semester. Nothing you can do about that, but it is cheaper then the for profit schools like MCI and Fortis. Books can run around 300 for the first couple of semesters, but then it levels off since the adult health book lasts through three terms. You also will spend a few bucks on uniforms unless you get lucky and find some used. Also budget for a good stethoscope like a Littman and a decent cuff.
All testing with the exception of dimensional analysis (nurse math) is done on computers. That is to emulate what you will get on NCLEX. The complexity of the questions also evolves as you move along so that you are expected to integrate your previous learning and experience on subsequent courses. Again this all preps you for the NCLEX.
Hope this answered some questions for you or any other potential students. If you fail out of a class, you have to wait till that class is offered again and then get slotted into a new group. Since we are the last E/W class, if we fail a class we are SOL. The only alternative would be to go days or try and test out and pass the class that way. We had one lady do that last term, so it is possible, but not a preferable choice. Our class is also a bit on the older side so we are probably a tighter group and there is less drama. But every group is different and hopefully yours will be as supportive as our class. Good luck, shoot me a PM if you have any more questions.